SBG Black Dragon Katana- solid bladeSBG Black Dragon Katana- solid blade4
The original SBG Black Dragon Katana is based on a popular configuration of our original SGG custom Katana that, despite having thousands of possible component combinations, would be selected by at least 3-4 customers every time we made a custom Katana batch...
So just for the sake of experiment - we decided to have a few made as a stocked item, but they were so popular that they sold like hotcakes and - like with this small shipment - are only available for a few short weeks at a time...
You can see one of the original customer created Black Dragons listed at the top of the SBG Custom Katana Gallery - from the Gallery:
TEXT FROM GALLERY: "First up we have one of our custom Katana with a very dark theme; black rayskin, black cotton ito wrap (A5) a P2 Dragon themed tsuba and the matching C10 Dragon fittings as well as black textured saya (S11).
"You might think it's a little too dark, but the "all black" look is very unique and popular and personally I think this particular design came together extremely well".
An affordable, stylish and extremely popular design - this is a unique chance to own one of our forges famous differentially hardened blades without the wait and additional cost.
Brass Dragon themed fittings with all black cotton ito over real blackened rayskin, its a mean, lean cutting machine. But as demand is high and stocks limited, if you want one dont delay. While this is the 4th run of these swords margins have become so tight that there is no guarantee there will be another...
Available in Solid Bodied and bo-hi configurations (solid bodied blades tend to be better cutters due to the extra weight in the tip, those with bo-hi are generally faster and great for formwork and trick cuts).
How to Use
Materials and Construction
Featured positive reviews:
The first sword I received had some issues with the kissaki, yokote and the kashira. After some confusion due to holiday volume, a replacement was promptly sent.
I am pleased with the solid blade Black Dragon Katana overall. The blade is very nice. The distal taper, balance, and finish are good. The hamon is all I expected. It's evident, however, that the geometric yokote is prone to scorching during polishing and the tip of the kissaki tends to be notched. But I've seen this same issue with the kissaki tips on Paul Chen [Hanwei, CAS Iberia] Practical and Practical Pluses. The brass fittings look and feel great. The tsuka fits the nakago well and has no splits; but it does make a great deal of noise. I emptied out a lot of grit and shavings when I disassembled for inspection, but found no functional issue. The habachi was loose, however; it had been shimmed with a small wood strip. After cleaning all the parts, I shimmed the habachi myself using birch veneer I keep on hand to shim sayas as they loosen over time and this fixed the issue. (As this makes evident that shimming the habachi is standard practice at the forge, I elected to do this myself rather than make issue of it.) The saya fit is super tight between koiguchi and habachi, with little rattle. Better too tight than too loose, as the saya mouth will loosen over time if used, period. I actually like the natural cotton tsuka-ito and sageo versus synthetic silk. The tsuka-ito wrapping is nice and tight, alternates. The real same looks nice, although the paneling can be seen in one spot. Unfortunately, it's obvious the kashira will wear loose over time.
All-in-all, I like the sword very much. But I had too high an expectation from the onset, thinking that the SBG swords of the Black Dragon Forge were free of the defects and QC issues inherent with Chinese forged swords at an attainable price. The Black Dragon Katana is a great value for the money, definitely on par with swords I've seen well above the price, but it's still very obviously a sword from a Chinese factory. I would love to see in person one of the Project X laminated heirloom katanas. I would say the Black Dragon Katana overall--and SBG Cutstom Katana by association--is definitely on a higher level in terms of fit and finish than Cheness or entry-level Paul Chen [Hanwei]. The blade is the real star, with it's excellent geometry--honestly, the better than anything offered by Hanwei or Cheness--and lovely natural hamon. But the fittings remind one that a defect-free sword is simply unattainable at this price-point. Satisfied overall; as will you be--if you keep a realistic expectation.